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Canada's prime ministers: A day of honor

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  Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

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Have your say - responses, February 8

Here is what some globeandmail.com visitors had to say about who their favorite prime minister is and why. You can find links to other responses at the bottom.


My favourite Prime Minister is Pierre E. Trudeau. He was intelligent, dynamic and possessed an overall vision of Canada as a complete country, encompassing all cultures. This is who we are: a glorious multicultural country. I truly wish that we will soon decide to take the Queen off our currency all together and place notable Canadian Prime Ministers and Native leaders in her stead. She and her ilk mean nothing to us now.
A. Carrigan

Diefenbaker was the last of the great old-time politicians guided by integrity not votes. He was an amazing orator. We have not heard anyone like him since.
Charles Pedley

It is Lester B. Pearson. Being from Québec, I recognize that Mr. Pearson has been the last real prime minister of Canada. Under his administration (1960 to 1968) there has been a real fruitful cooperation between Quebec and the rest of Canada. From Trudeau on, the Liberal governments have been concentrating their efforts to prevent Québec from developing further. Chrétien is now using the anti-Québec Canadian unity deal to camouflage an unprecedented drive to create a centralized Canada that does not respect the nature of our constitution and the provincial legislatures. Worst, without a serious alternative at the national level, this administration (the Chrétien government) will possibly destroy our faith in this country before reason prevails. If we need a new holiday, let it be the provincial legislatures day so we can celebrate whatever power they still have.
G. Laurin

I do not have a favourite prime minister, in the past 35 years of my life, there's not a one in which I would look up to. They are all a bunch of criminals and are messing up our country and spending our hard earned dollars however they want. The whole system is corrupt and should be abolished before our country is in too much of a mess to get back on track. Our government is a big joke and the goofs that represent us (or are supposed to) are in no way shape or form ones who should be looked up to. Favourite Prime Minister? Are you kidding?
Larry

This campaign missed publicity in Québec, I think the opinions of people of my province will be forgotten again.
Charles-Maxime Nadeau

I think it's an excellent idea to have a day set aside to celebrate our history as a nation. We have had many notable Prime Ministers whose great accomplishments are widely unknown to many Canadians. However, I would opt for "Lester B. Pearson Day" before choosing "Sir John A. Macdonald Day" unless, of course, the purpose of the holiday was to be inebriated before lunch!
Bill Dunn

We should have a Prime Minister's Day in February.
Donna Veriker

I love the idea of a new, national holiday, especially in February. But does anyone really care about honouring our PM's. I sure don't. The vast majority of them strike me as power mongers of questionable moral character. So how about some other theme like Global Awareness Day or Mental Health Day (that's the real reason we want a holiday in February - let's honour our need for some down time)?
Steve Karagianis

My favourite PM is Pierre Elliot Trudeau because he understood how this vast country worked and acknowledged the great beauty of the land. He did not vacation in Florida but canoed the great waters of Canada.
Rebecca Deguara

Pierre Trudeau will always be my favorite PM. He was colourful and was able to hold his ground with anyone. I had the honour to meet him twice in my lifetime and both times he made my knees go weak. He was intelligent, sophisticated and charismatic, even if you didn't agree with his politics. I also admired, greatly, his love for his sons. There will never be another one like him.
A. Soltau

I just want to point out two things in regards to the poll. One the poll is not separating the two issues. You are asking if Canadians want a holiday and secondly that Canadians want to call it Prime Minister's day. Most Canadians and anyone else for that matter if given the question of do they want a holiday will say "YES". As for calling it Prime Minster's day - what are we a shadow of the U.S. Since we do not have a President, let's just call it Prime Minster's day. No thank-you. I voted yes for the holiday but if given the option I would not want to have a "Prime Minster's day". Can we not come up with something a little bit more original?
Barb G.

Actually, I cannot say I have a favorite. I chose to vote no on making the hoiday "Prime Minister XX Day". I would prefer we choose to call it Prime Ministers' Day or Dominion Day or I would really prefer we call it something we can all use in February (Peter Gzowski's son's suggestion) "CHINOOK DAY." That definitely has my vote. I really enjoyed Chinook days when I lived in Calgary.
Jill Kruse

Yes, we should have a Prime Minister's Day it's an excellent idea. Pierre Trudeau was the best Prime Minister we ever had, he had culture, international prestige and vision. As Canadians, we should be more proud of our History and Heritage.
Lorraine

I don't think there is one person who wouldn't grasp at another holiday. But to be fair I think the holiday shouldn't have just any one particular PM in mind for it. It should be in honour of all PM's past, present and future. As they have or will have all done something for Canada that was right during their time as PM. Some just won't make as significant an impact as others. And for those that don't agree with another holiday because it might be in honour of our PM's, maybe they should sit back and think. What have they, themselves, done for our country? Our PM's have done and will do the best they know how for Canada during their time. I feel, that simply naming that special day as "PM's Day" will do all our past present and future PM's the honour that it was intended. And not single any one PM out to be more special from the rest. As they are all special in their own right.
Cynthia Chernoff
Estevan, Saskatchewn

I agree with one of your previous responses that states why do we have to call it anything? If we need to have a name and Winter Holiday or Sanity Day isn't enough then yes, Prime Minister day is fine. If we need to express our gratitude along with a healthy paycheck then lets do it.
Anita

Lester Pearson was the first Prime Minister that I took note of as I was growing up. I think much of Canada's image abroad today is due to his original peace keeping efforts. It surprised me to read of his accomplishments at home here in Canada. I found him to be quiet and almost unassuming here and yet a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. And Yes....I would love to see Prime Ministers Day. It could be a time to teach that our history is rich with adventure!
Janet Bathgate

My favourite PM is Pierre Trudeau. However, I just wanted to comment that a long weekend in February is an excellent idea, but I believe that we should honour one significant Canadian on that day: Peter Gsowski. He had been pushing for a long weekend in February for years now, and a lot of listeners of CBC radio I am sure would agree with me! I heard a broadcast of his memorial service last weekend, and his son said that Peter had in mind to call the day "Chinook Day", but of course we would all know what day it is! You should add Peter's name to your list, and just see how many votes he gets!
Melissa de Haan
Victoria, B.C.

I don't like the idea of a "Prime Ministers'Day". Let's face it. These guys are just politicians-and far too many of them are lawyers. Can you imagine celebrating Lying Brian Mulroney? How about a day when we remember Native North Americans and how they gave up their land, culture, and lives so we could have a country.
Robert Cunningham

I don't have a favourite Prime Minister and we don't need another holiday, the country cannot afford more paid holidays.
Herman Jaspers

As a Canadian living in the United States for 16 years now, I applaud this movement to honour (yes!) Prime Ministers, to instill justifiable pride in our history and our many singular initiatives through these men and woman, and - of course - to get a break from 401 traffic for a long weekend in February. In my short life I received replies from two of my favourite (yes! yes!) leaders -- Lester B. Pearson after I wrote him with feedback on his new 3 maple leaf flag with blue bars; and Pierre Elliott Trudeau shortly after he led the repatriation of the Constitution. Please know that I remain unabashedly Canadian here in beautiful Cleveland: coaching hockey, reading The Globe and Mail from time to time, canoeing/camping in Algonquin with my sons (who know the similarity between John A. and George Washington; and can name the Montreal Canadiens with the most Stanley Cup victories), differentiating between bon soir and bonne nuit when kissing my wife goodnight!
Salut!
Stephen Kahnert

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Let us have a Responsible Government Day in Honour of Joseph Howe, Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin. We certainly do not need a U.S. presidential-type holiday.
Thomas Bergbusch

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